It’s an exciting time when you decide you want to add a cat to your family. But before you go out and choose the purrfect cat, here are some of the things you should consider to ensure that you and your cat are the perfect fit for each other.
Important Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Cat for You
Age and activity levels
When thoughts turn to getting a cat, most people immediately imagine a cute little kitten, but are you sure you’re ready for a crazy, energetic little ball of fluff? Kittens are adorable, don’t get me wrong, but they’re extremely lively and need lots of attention and constant supervision to keep them safe and out of mischief. Older cats are likely to be more laid back, and elderly cats especially are suited to quiet homes. Older cats tend to be overlooked at rescue organisations, so adopting a senior cat is extra rewarding.
Rescue organisations are always more than happy to discuss the different personalities of the cats available, and trust me; every cat has his or her own very distinct personality! Some cats are chatty, some are mischief makers, or attention seekers, and some prefer their own company. Are you looking for a cuddly lap-cat, or would you prefer a more solitary, independent cat that doesn’t require a lot of attention.
Healthy or special needs?
You might assume it’s best to get a cat that’s 100% healthy and active, but have you considered adopting a cat with a disability? Like older cats, a cat with a disability, such as deafness or blindness, or a disease such as FIV, will always find it harder to find a loving home, so it’s worth considering whether you could adopt one. You may need to make certain adjustments if you decide to bring home an ill or disabled cat, but the majority of them will live a happy, trouble free life once they’re part of your family.
Even if you want to adopt a pure bred cat rather than a rescue cat why not check your local rescue organisation first rather than going straight to a cat breeder. Cat rescues are constantly full of amazing cats looking for their forever home, and they just keep getting fuller. If you’ve got your heart set on a specific breed, there are many breed-specific rescues around, and general cat rescues also occasionally have pedigree cats up for adoption.
Different cat breeds have their own specific traits and behaviours, so it’s worth making sure that you know what they are if you’re considering adopting a particular breed. If you’re a big fan of peace and quiet, it’s probably not the best idea to adopt a talkative Siamese, whereas a placid Persian may be just right for you. Of course, you can’t guarantee that your new cat will have the typical traits of this breed; we all know that cats have their own opinions about how to behave, thank you very much!
Other factors to consider when choosing a cat include the length of their coat (long-haired cats will need daily grooming), and whether you already have other pets.
You may have a checklist of exactly what you want in a cat, but as it’s often cats that choose us, and not the other way round, you may find that the cat you fall in love with at your local animal shelter and bring home is not quite the cat that you originally had in mind!
How did you choose your cat? Or did your cat choose you?
Image: DaMongMan via Flickr